The ability of adenovirus structural polypeptides to bind nucleic acids was assessed by separating the polypeptides on SDS-polyacrylamide gels, transferring them electrophoretically to nitrocellulose and probing with P-labelled nucleic acids. Polypeptides IVa, V, VI and VII, as well as trace amounts of pVII and a polypeptide of apparent mol. wt. 40 × 10 were able to bind label under these conditions. Labelling was also detected with a smaller polypeptide, possibly related to the cleavage products of pVII and/or pVI. The binding of DNA to polypeptide VI appeared to be more sensitive to detergents than the others. No sequence specificity could be detected in the DNA binding.


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